For Immediate Release
Sean Donahue, Communications Director -- 617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c), email@example.com
MFSO Decries Pentagon Rejection of Purple Hearts for PTSD
WASHINGTON - Members of Military Families Speak Out are
criticizing the Pentagon's rejection earlier this week of a request to award the
Purple Heart to troops suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD). The request came from
a military psychologist who felt that recognizing PTSD as a battle injury would
help to remove some of the stigma attached to the disorder.
Kevin and Joyce Lucey are the
parents of Cpl. Jeffrey Lucey, who took his own life on June 22, 2004 shortly
after being denied treatment for the PTSD he sustained while serving in Iraq
with the Marine Corps Reserves.
The Luceys are members of Gold Star Families Speak Out, a national
chapter of Military Families Speak Out whose members' loved ones have died as a
result of the war in
Kevin Lucey said:
"The denial of the purple heart to those
warriors inflicted by the hidden wounds of PTSD reflects the limited
understanding which many in the Pentagon possess - despite the claims of some
that they are trying to address PTSD and the stigma usually attached to
it. "Some of these warriors suffer as much - and in some cases
possibly even more - as many of those who have been physically wounds on the
battlefield. Many who bear the physical wounds also carry those hidden wounds to
their spirit and, after their physical wounds have healed or been addressed in
some fashion, they must deal with the hemorrhaging of their infected souls
-- inflicted by events experienced by answering their country's call to
Joyce Lucey added:
"If anyone questions how lethal and fatal
the hidden wounds of PTSD can be ( similar to those of severe physical
wounds), then we invite them to visit Cpl. Jeffrey Michael Lucey's grave at
Island Pond Cemetery in Ludlow, Massachusetts."
Stacy Hafley is a member of
Military Families Speak Out whose husband suffers from severe PTSD sustained
while serving in
Iraq with the
Army Reserves. She said:
"My husband will struggle for the rest of
his life with the psychological wounds he suffered in a war that should never
have been fought. Our family deals
with the impacts of those wounds every day -- just as surely as the family of
someone who was physically injured in combat. This decision is a slap in the face of
troops like my husband. Once again, the Pentagon has chosen to hide rather than
acknowledge the suffering PTSD has caused."
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Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) is an organization of people opposed to the war in Iraq who have relatives or loved ones who are currently in the military or who have served in the military since the buildup to the Iraq war in the fall of 2002. Formed by two families in November of 2002, we have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world. Our membership currently includes over 3,400 military families, with new families joining daily.